Navajo activists protest company eyeing coal-fired plant

(Susan Montoya Bryan | The Associated Press) This Nov. 9, 2009, file photo shows the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station near Farmington, N.M. Officials in northwestern New Mexico are grappling with the likely effects of the coal power plant closure near the Navajo Nation and in one of the nation's poorest states. Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett told state lawmakers Thursday, July 26, 2018 that the Four Corners region is "a ticking time bomb" waiting for the generating station to close. That because the plant provides needed jobs and revenue.

Flagstaff, Ariz. • About a dozen Navajos traveled to New York City to protest a company eyeing a coal-fired power plant on their reservation.

The Navajo Generating Station near Page is set to close next year unless a new buyer is found. The current owners say energy produced by natural gas is cheaper.

New York-based Avenue Capital Group has said it's interested in purchasing the plant and is talking with tribal officials. It's also been pushing an Arizona entity to commit to buying coal-fired power.

The protesters held signs outside the company's office in Manhattan on Monday. They say Avenue Capital is standing in the way of a move toward renewable energy on the reservation.

The company declined comment Monday, saying it hasn’t reached a decision on the power plant.